The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Nov. 15 on the tax status of universities where pro-Hamas protests have taken place, according to the committee chairman.
Multiple pro-Hamas protests occurred on college campuses across the country after the Oct. 7 attack against Israel. Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, who chairs the committee, told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Wednesday that the committee would look into how universities that have tax benefits responded to such demonstrations on campus.
“We’re actually going to be holding a committee hearing a week from today,” Smith said. “We’ll be announcing that – I guess I just announced that. What we’ve been finding out and, of course we handle the tax code being the ways and means committee, is all the tax treatment that, of course, you see universities have, whether it’s these huge billion-dollar endowments, it’s quite alarming how they are looking at preferred speech, rather than freedom of speech.”
“We have found in a lot of these 501c organizations that, in fact, are sending money to terrorist organizations,” Smith continued. “So, this is something we’re going to have to fix in the tax code. We should not be using tax benefits to fund terrorism, especially terrorism overseas.”
Dozens of Harvard faculty members signed an open letter demanding that university president Claudine Gay condemn critics of the pro-Hamas protests.
“We’re going to be looking at from the university perspective of how these universities who get special tax benefits, how they have condoned the activities of antisemitism throughout their campuses,” Smith said. “Cornell University for one, one of our witnesses will be a student at Cornell, a Jewish student who has experienced anti-Semitism and will talk about how even one of the professors at Cornell University promoted what happened on October 7.”
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